X Factor favourite Amelia Lily, who has type 1 diabetes, has spoken of her fear of the complications of type 1 diabetes, and her efforts to control her blood glucose levels under the pressure of performing each week in front of millions of people.
The 17 year old, who was diagnosed aged three, wants to use her new fame to raise awareness of the condition and show young people that it shouldn’t stop them achieving their dreams.
Quoted in today’s Mirror she said ‘Not a lot of people know what I am, but I would like to get it out and I'd like to help people, especially children, and show that you can still get on stage and perform.’
Blindness is a complication of type 1 diabetes and is caused by the effects of high blood glucose on the blood vessels to the eye. JDRF’s research programme is working on different ways to prevent and even reverse the onset of blindness.
Treating diabetic macular odema
A two-year UK study showed that by combining laser therapy with the drug Lucentis, which JDRF helped to develop, people who had developed macular oedema were able to see much better.
Diabetic macular oedema is the swelling in the center of the light-sensitive tissue in the eye, caused by damage to blood vessels in the back of the eye which also leads to abnormal growth of new vessels. The standard treatment for this condition, has been the same for the last 25 years: laser treatment to destroy areas of abnormal blood vessels. Lucentis works by blocking the effects of a protein called VEGF, which causes the tiny vessels in the eye to leak and promotes new vessel growth. The new trial demonstrated that combining treatment with Lucentis and laser treatment was much more effective at improving vision than laser therapy alone. JDRF is now working with a range of patient groups to get treatment with Lucentis approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
The best way to reduce the risk of complications is to keep good blood glucose control. This is why JDRF is investing in the ‘artificial pancreas programme’.
There are lots of ways that you can support research to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes. And remember, vote Amelia to win before 12 noon today!!